Sovereign Coin Series – The British Britannia Coins
Britannia is the feminine personification of the United Kingdom, and the legendary Britannia coin series is the flagship of the Royal Mint’s stunning collection.
The classic standing Britannia is the most widely used design and has been used on British coinage for more than 250 years. Unlike other countries, the United Kingdom’s Britannia coin comes in a ‘bullion’ version as well as a ‘commemorative’ version. The bullion coin always has the standing Britannia, while the commemorative coins change every year and include a Britannia with large waves, with a Corinthian helmet, in front of a large flag and even Britannia with an owl.
The iconic Britannia originates from Roman times, around 119 AD, and is known worldwide as a symbol of strength and peace. The Britannia bullion coin has the female warrior with exquisite detail in her flowing gown, trident, shield and olive branch, standing in front of a beautiful pattern symbolizing the seas around the British Isles. Below her is etched the designer’s name.
Recent updates in the security features make this the most visually secure coin in the world. Take note of the coins’ micro-text, tincture lines, a latent image and surface animation in the waves.
Mint: Royal Mint
Country: United Kingdom
Composition: Gold and silver
First Year of Issue: 1987 (gold), 1997 (silver), 2018 (platinum)
Artist: Philip Nathan (bullion reverse) and Jody Clark (bullion and commemorative obverse, 2015 onward)
Fascinating Fact: In 2014, the Royal Mint accidentally struck the obverse side of the silver Britannia coin with a design featuring the Lunar Year of the Horse. Approximately 17,000 are in existence today and can command high prices.
Obverse: Effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the coin’s denomination.
Reverse: The bullion coin version has Britannia standing on guard as the wind blows her clothing and hair, with rays of sunshine illuminating behind her. The commemorative coin design changes every year.